Back pain is so common that unfortunately many of us will experience it in our lifetime. There are a number of elements that can lead to back pain, even a few that you might not even be aware of that are causing your aches and pains. Do you work in an office? If your office is not very ergonomically inclined, even the chair at your desk can be leading to mild back pain throughout your day.
Generally speaking, maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise can be an important factor, but some might even be surprised that the most simple preventative fix of all, is actually just practicing good posture. Practicing good posture can make a world of a difference when dealing with back pain, and the first steps towards relief are simply being aware of your own posture when sitting down for long periods of time, like at the office for example. The benefits of good posture are not just preventing and aiding in the relief of back pain, but it also can make you look better too.
When thinking about posture, it might be easy to think that all you need to do is stand up straight, but posture is really all about the way in which you hold your body when sitting down at work, standing for long periods of time, heavy lifting or really any repeated task involving body movement. Luckily, you too can reap the benefits of good posture and reduce painful backaches with some helpful methods to try at home or the office yourself.
One of the most simple exercises to try is referred to as imagery. This takes literally imagining a straight line from the floor to your head, and attempting to recreate that with your back, especially when sitting down. You should be aiming to have your ears, shoulders, and hips aligned during this practice. Stretch your head upwards, increasing the space between your rib-cage and pelvis. Utilizing this easy exercise will quickly allow you to experience some of the benefits of good posture without setting aside too much extra time.
This next exercise can be completed while sitting in a chair. The shoulder blade squeeze helps to stretch out different parts on the back. You will need to first sit up straight in a chair, and rest your hands on your thighs. Next, you will need to keep your shoulders down and your chin level, looking straight ahead. From there you can slowly move your shoulders back, squeezing the shoulder blades together. You will want to hold this for 4-5 seconds each, 3-4 times, with a short relaxation in between each round.
From there, you will want to next stretch the upper body, using another really simple to do exercise. First, you will want to stand facing a corner, with your arms above your head and your hands flat on the walls (one on each). Keep your elbows at shoulder height. Next, place one foot ahead of the other, and then bend your forward knee, and exhale as you lean your body towards the corner. Be sure to keep your back straight and your head and chest upward. You will feel your chest stretching. Hold this position for about 20-30 seconds and release.
A final helpful stretch is the arm across chest stretch. First, you will want to raise your right arm to about shoulder level in front of you. Bend your elbow keeping your forearm parallel to the floor. Hold your right elbow with your left hand, then slowly pull it across your chest, which should give the feeling of a nice stretch in the upper arm and right side of the body. Hold that pose for 20-30 seconds, release, and then repeat on the other side of your body. Try three rounds of this total, and you will soon be on your way to experiencing the benefits of good posture.
These helpful tips will relieve minor back pain, but ultimately investing in ergonomic equipment will help prevent some of the pain before it has the chance to start. Utilizing the Upright Posture Trainer will let you experience first hand the potential benefits of good posture. The trainer is a wearable technology that trains you to improve your posture over time. The way it works, is that it attaches to your back with a soft piece of velcro, and vibrates whenever you slouch. The device only needs to be worn for anywhere between 5 minutes and one hour daily to get the full benefits. This simple to use device has a training program that will have the user feeling the benefits of good posture in no time at all.